Former NBA Referee Tim Donaghy Says ‘100%’ Of NBA Referees Gamble On Games So Double Down On Your Conspiracy Theories

Michael Jordan talks with referee Tim Donaghy

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Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld / Getty Images


Colin Cowherd interviewed former NBA referee Tim Donaghy on his show this afternoon and asked him what percentage of NBA referees gamble and Tim answered “100%” without any hesitation. Here’s the clip…

In case you forgot, Donaghy officiated in 772 regular season NBA games and 20 playoff NBA games over 13 seasons before resigning in July 2007 amidst allegations he bet on games he officiated during his last two seasons and made calls affecting the point spread in those games. He later pleaded guilty to two federal charges and could face more charges at the state level.

Donaghy was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison in 2008 and served 11 months in a federal prison camp with the remainder of his sentence in a halfway house, but was sent back to prison in August for violating his release terms. He was released on November 4, 2009 after serving out his sentence.

Donaghy sued the publisher of his memoir for not paying him and he was awarded $1.3 million.

Sports gambling expert R. J. Bell, president of sports betting information site Pregame.com, tracked every game Donaghy worked from 2003 to 2007. Bell discovered that during the two seasons investigated by the NBA, the teams involved scored more points than expected by the Las Vegas sports books 57% of the time. In the previous two seasons, this only happened 44% of the time. According to Bell, the odds of such a discrepancy are 1 in 1,000, and there was “a 99.9% chance that these results would not have happened without an outside factor”. He also found 10 straight games in 2007 in which Donaghy worked the game that the point spread moved 1.5 points or more before the tip—an indication that big money had been wagered on the game.


So, a gambling addict throws every other NBA ref under the bus to make himself look less like an asshole and now NBA conspiracy theorists are going to lose every last bit of their shit. This is why I lost love for the NBA. Have fun watching LeBron flop in the Finals again.